Hard Boiled Deviled Chicks, and Everything Inbetween

Deviled eggs are a fun appetizer any time of the year, but they’re especially appropriate around Easter. This year, I cutesied  them up by making them into deviled chicks. Instead of cutting the hard boiled eggs in half lengthwise, I used my paring knife to cut a zigzag around the center. The egg white part popped right off, and I stuffed them with my traditional deviled egg recipe.

These little chicks were so cute for Easter! But the basic recipe can be used year-round.

While the eggs were super cute this year (especially with my Bunny Butt Cake!), it starts with a good hard boiled egg and a simple, yummy deviled egg recipe. So matter what time of year it is, these helpful tips will be good for any occasion. And honestly, while not all these ingredients are in my Kitchen Staples list, you’ll find all of them in my kitchen year-round because they’re so versatile.

What you’ll need:
1 dozen eggs
6 tablespoons nonfat mayo
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (I keep this in my fridge all year, it’s great on steaks or in turkey burgers)
4 tablespoons minced celery (about 3 stalks)
2 tablespoons pickle relish (Clinton loves it on sandwiches)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of hot sauce (tapatio is my favorite, but any kind will do)
Paprika for garnish

What you’ll need to do:

Let’s start by hard boiling your eggs. Put your eggs in a pot large enough so that all of them are spread out in one even layer (your very large pot works perfectly). Fill the pot with cold water from the tap, enough to cover the eggs with at least 1 inch of water. Add a palmful (tablespoon) of salt to prevent the eggs from cracking and making them easier to peel. Bring your water to a boil over high heat.

Watch these guys closely, salted water boils more quickly than unsalted water and you don't want to overcook your eggs.

As soon as the water reaches a boil, turn off the heat and cover your pot. Let your eggs sit in the hot water for about 12-15 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pot with a slotted spoon (be careful, that water is still hot), and put them in a bowl of ice water. Or, to save a dish, drain the water out of the pot and refill with cold water and ice.

After your eggs have cooled, either store them in a covered container in the fridge or peel them for your deviled eggs. Now, peeling hard boiled eggs is probably one of my least favorite things to do because it’s so time-consuming. Make sure you do it while watching a good show on TV or recruit a friend to help you. I always tap the bottom of the egg on the edge of my kitchen counter – if you make a divot in the egg, at least it’s on the bottom. Use your fingernails to start peeling the shell, and then use the edges of your fingers (not nails) to peel the shell off the rest of your egg. If you use your fingernails for the whole egg, you’re more likely to get nicks (I do for sure!).

Once all your eggs are peeled, cut them to get out the yolks and make your shapes. For the deviled chicks, I used my paring knife to make a zigzag cut around the center of the egg. If you’re making regular deviled eggs, cut them lengthwise. As I cut the eggs, I toss the yolks in a bowl where I’ll make the stuffing for the deviled eggs.

This is definitely the most time-consuming part, but making your basic deviled eggs into deviled chicks really didn't make much difference time-wise. Cuteness-wise, deviled chicks definitely take the win.

Finally! We get to make the best part about the deviled eggs: the yummy, tangy, center – and it’s the easiest part! In your bowl with the yolks, add the mayo, Worcestershire sauce, celery, relish, salt, and hot sauce. If you have an electric mixer, go to town until the mixture is totally blended. Good ol’ elbow grease and a fork will work, too.

Stuff your egg halves with the yolk mixture and then sprinkle with paprika. If you’re making the chicks, stuff half of the egg white “shell” with a big spoonful of the mixture and then top with the other half of the egg white “shell.” For the eyes, I used bacon bits. And for the beak, I used a small sliver of carrot. So cute!

It's so easy to pop one of these in your mouth every couple minutes that it's rare to leave a party with leftovers.

It’s hard work, but so worth it. Deviled eggs are super delicious and a great appetizer for any party.

Simple Spinach and Artichoke Dip

As your friends indulge in this gooey, cheesy, yummy appetizer, they will never guess that it only takes about 10 minutes to make. It’s become a Super Bowl staple, an easy treat for family get-togethers, and a hit with my book club. And really, it’s so easy.

This little kick of cayenne makes this seemingly ordinary Spinach Artichoke Dip extraordinary.

What you’ll need:
1 10 ounce package of frozen spinach
1 9-10 ounce package of frozen artichoke hearts (if you can’t find them, 1 can of artichoke hearts will work, too)
1 8 ounce package of low-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
1/4 cup low-fat mayo
1 big handful of Parmesan cheese (about 3/4 cups)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or a couple pinches)
1/4 teaspoon salt (a pinch)
1 tablespoon garlic powder

What you’ll need to do:

In a large microwave safe bowl, defrost your spinach and artichoke hearts together. You’ll do this by adding about 2 tablespoons of water to the bowl, microwaving on high for 5 minutes, stirring, and then microwaving again on high for about 3 minutes. Drain out any liquid.

The best part of this dish is that it's a one-pot wonder. The defrosting is done in this dish, and then everything else is just added in. I even use my glass microwave-safe dish as my serving dish!

If your artichoke hearts are too big in size, break them apart with a fork.

Stir the cream cheese in with the hot mixture. Then add the sour cream, mayo, Parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper, salt, and garlic (I use low-fat versions of the ingredients if I can so that I feel less guilty about enjoying scoop after scoop of this, but feel free to use full fat if you’d like). Stir until thoroughly combined.

Serve hot with pita chips, crackers, or chunks of bread to scoop up the goodness. This can be stored in the fridge overnight and reheated the next day (reheat by microwaving on high for about 3 minutes, and then stirring to combine). Enjoy!